Skip to main content

Maim vs Cripple vs Mutilate vs Batter vs Mangle

Maim, cripplemutilatebattermangle are comparable when they mean to injure the body or an object so severely as to leave permanent or long-lasting effects.

Maim implies the loss of a limb or member or the destruction of its usefulness usually through violence (as by war, accident, or the deliberate act of oneself or another).

Cripple (see also WEAKEN ) is more restricted than maim because strictly it implies the loss of or serious impairment of the use of a leg or arm or part of one.

Mutilate ((for specific sense of this word, see STERILIZE 1 )) implies the cutting off or removal of a part essential to completeness, not only of a person but also of a thing, and to his or its perfection, beauty, entirety, or fulfillment of function. Batter and mangle do not suggest loss of limb, member, or part, but they do suggest injuries which excessively disfigure the person or thing.

Batter implies a pounding (literal or figurative) that bruises deeply, deforms, or mutilates.

Mangle, on the other hand, implies a tearing or crushing and a covering (literally or figuratively) with deep wounds or lacerations.